Shortlist announced for Gordon Burn Prize 2019

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The shortlist has been announced for the seventh annual Gordon Burn Prize.

Ten years on from the death of writer Gordon Burn, whose work includes Happy Like Murderers, Alma Cogan, and Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel, the prize founded in his name has become one of the most highly anticipated on the literary landscape.

The Gordon Burn Prize highlights and rewards work that is fearless and uncompromising in its ambition and execution, often pushing boundaries or challenging readers’ expectations.

Founded in 2012 by a partnership of New Writing North, Durham Book Festival, the Gordon Burn Trust and Faber & Faber, the Gordon Burn Prize has rewarded six titles to date, including Census by Jesse Ball (2018), The Long Drop by Denise Mina (2017) and All That Man Is by David Szalay (2016).

The prize is open to both fiction and non-fiction titles by authors resident in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States of America. From New York’s vogue ball community to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the shortlisted titles often revisit familiar landscapes through a different lens.

The 2019 judges, author A.A. Dhand, artist Gary Hume, journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer, and musician Rachel Unthank, selected the shortlist and will announce the winner on 10 October.


The shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019 is:

David Keenan, For the Good Times (Faber)

Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)

Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Heads of the Colored People (Chatto & Windus)

Max Porter, Lanny (Faber)

Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls (Penguin)

Niven Govinden, This Brutal House (Dialogue)


The Gordon Burn Prize 2019 will take place at Durham Book Festival on Thursday 10 October. Tickets will be on sale from the Durham Book Festival website from Friday 9 August.